The mortgage landscape has changed in a number of fundamental ways over the last few years. Diverse factors such as the increase in house prices, students leaving university with larger debts, the trend towards couples buying their first homes and starting their families later in life, the ability to access pensions from age 55, are all having an impact on homeowners’ borrowing requirements and repayment patterns.
For the majority of us, our mortgage represents the biggest single financial commitment we are likely to make. Repaying it has a major impact on how we manage our finances. Over the last few years, more mortgages have been granted for terms in excess of the standard 25 years, not least because stretching the monthly repayments over a longer period can make them more affordable (although this does mean that the borrower will be paying interest for longer).
With house ownership proving a challenge for many young buyers, the average age at which they take on their first mortgage is more likely to be in their 30s. This means that many more borrowers will find themselves repaying mortgage debt well into their retirement years.
The amount of mortgage debt held by over-65s is set to double to about £40bn by 2030, according to a May 2017 study supported by the Building Societies Association.
KEEPING YOUR MORTGAGE UNDER REVIEW
If you are in the situation where your mortgage is likely to run on into your retirement, keep it under review. There may come a point where you may want to consider shortening the mortgage term if your finances mean that you can afford higher repayments. Alternatively, you might want to consider making overpayments to reduce the amount of mortgage outstanding. Getting good advice will help ensure that you manage your finances effectively, especially later in life.
As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.